East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Tour Report of the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, formerly Shogun’s castle, 24 February 2024

East Gardens of the Imperial Palace

Thank you very much for participating in the tour of that day. On that day we hosted 7 guests from Germany, Taiwan, Turkey, Canada, Singapore, and Poland. The weather was fine so we were comfortable walking on the tour course although it was a cold winter day. Some early blossoming specie of cherry blossoms have bloomed as well as plums in the garden.

Photos taken during the tour are posted to remind you of wonderful time we spent together.

When we guide the East Garden, we describe the place as a former castle premise of Shogun. Shogun is a practical leader of Japan in the feudal period besides Emperor. Emperor has been a divine symbol of the nation and rarely intervened in the national politics. Shogun we refer to in the tour is Tokugawa Shoguns who ruled Japan between 1603 and 1867 for 15 generations.

Some of foreigners might be familiar with the name “Shogun” as a famous novel title and its adaptation to TV dramas. The novel was written by James Clavell and made into 1980 NBC TV mini-series as well as recent version of it produced by FX network. The story is based on a biography of the first Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu and his British retainer, William Adams. Surprised to know there was a westerner who became an important retainer serving Shogun.

So our guests might experience what it was like being at the castle by imagining what William Adams experienced. Sorry, there is no more castle compound since it was all burnt down in late 19th century and turned turf. Only some guard houses and gate areas are remained to tell the past. So we use pictures to explain what existed there.

However, if you want to get a glimpse of the castle in the past. We recommend two places. One is in Kawagoe city, Saitama prefecture, an hour or so train ride from Tokyo. There stands a part of transported castle structure in Kitain temple premise, that contains a room where the third Shogun was born.

The other is Nijojo Castle in Kyoto. It was Tokugawa Shogun’s property during the feudal period when Emperor resided in Kyoto and was used when Shoguns visited to meet with Emperor.

These buildings retained the original figure of the castle and are similar to the castle which stood on the East Garden’s turf.

Please visit these places if you really want to feel like being in the castle that stood in the East Garden.

Why not become another William Adams during our tour!

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Posted by Masa